Submitted by Molly Montgomery and Kristin Whitman, Cochairs, Pacific Northwest Chapter of MLA (PNC/MLA) Conference
The 56th annual meeting of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of MLA (PNC/MLA) was held in Boise, Idaho, from October 27–29, 2019. The theme was “Reaching Out: Creating Connections,” and the conference poster featured otters, because PNC/MLA recently voted to have an otter as our mascot!
We offered one pre-conference continuing education (CE) course, which was held at the new Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine. “The Evolving Medical Librarian: Responding to Changes in the Workplace and Healthcare” was taught by Michelle Kraft, AHIP, Alumni Library, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH. We also offered an embedded CE course during the conference at no extra cost to the participants. “Giving Participant-Centered Presentations” was taught by Carol Casler, a local training and education consultant. Feedback about the embedded CE from conference attendees was very positive, and we encourage other chapters to consider trying it out.
Two keynote speakers presented separately on the two days of the conference. To cut down on cost and to focus on local talent, we only looked for keynote speakers from the Boise area. Our first keynote speaker was Luis Lagos, the community outreach program manager at the Family Medicine Residency of Idaho. He talked about the social determinants of health and how his group has created a survey to measure the social determinants of health in patients. Our second keynote speaker was Amy Pence-Brown, a body positivity activist. She focused her talk on issues related to body image and how body shaming impacts mental and physical health.
Seven attendees presented on topics related to data, weeding, community projects, and teaching. The full list of presentations can be found on our repository page. MLA President Julia Esparza, AHIP, gave us an update of MLA activities and events. Michele Spatz, Pacific Northwest Region, National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), Seattle, WA, gave a presentation on NNLM, including updates to the All of Us research campaign and the new PubMed interface. During the PNC/MLA business meeting, we discussed having an online chapter conference in 2020, and we named our otter mascot, Mesh.
PNC/MLA is very appreciative of the vendors who came to the meeting. We had a vendor bingo game to encourage attendees to visit the vendors, and the Silver Sponsors (Wolters-Kluwer, Simtics, and Rockefeller University Press) were given five minutes each during lunch to give an update on their products.
There will be no in-person PNC meeting in 2020 because MLA ’20 will be held in Portland this year, but as mentioned above, an online conference is a possibility. The location for the 2021 PNC meeting has yet to be determined.